Securities’ Experts Central to Appeal

Former Lt. Gov. Earle E. Morris Jr.’s appeal of his securities-fraud conviction has been bumped up to the South Carolina Supreme Court.

Morris, 78, was former board chairman of Carolina Investors. In November 2004, he was convicted on 23 counts of lying to investors during the Upstate firm’s financial collapse. He was sentenced to a 44-month jail term, or almost four years.

Morris appealed in part because one of his securities expert witnesses was excluded. He also argued that one of the state’s expert witnesses should not have been alowed to testify.

Each side is expected to file final briefs during the next few months. A date has not been set yet for the justices to hear the appeal, but it is likely to occur before the end of this year.